Eastvale – The Roosevelt High boys cross country team qualified to be a part of one of the most prestigious post season events in all of high school sports. Only the top 22 seven man teams and 45 additional individuals from 9 regions in the country qualify to travel to Oregon and compete in the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN). “It is an honor just to qualify for a competition of this magnitude” said Joe Robles, head coach of the boys cross country team at Roosevelt High School.
The team finished 2nd to Great Oaks in CIF Southern section and then had to finish in the top 2 in the state of California to qualify for the NXN meet. There are 9 different regions in the country and only the top 2 teams in each region qualify to go Oregon to compete for the NXN title and the coveted Winged Goddess of Victory Statue. Even though it wasn’t raining at race time it did start up again midway through the race to intensify an already intense race. The 40 degree temperatures and the premium, championship quality course at Glendoveer Golf Course challenged each competitor to give it all they had.
“The teams all have to compete as a club because Nike outfits each boy with a NXN custom uniform for the event as well as spikes, socks, warm ups, socks, backpacks and more. Our uniforms had our hometown, Eastvale written across the front of the, said Robles. “The boys just had a great time and because we were required to compete as a club they got to take it all home, they loved it” added Robles
The team finished 15th in the competition, that is 15th in the COUNTRY.
An incredible finish for the team on a day that saw their top CIF finisher Tyler Spencer run through severe back pain due to a 24 hour flu bug. Michael Fagan was battling the flu and had a 102 degree temperature and had been in urgent care the Wednesday before the trip, they finished 4th and 5th on the team respectively. Senior Raymon Ornelas finished 1st on the team followed by Sophomore Raul Chaves and Senior Moises Rendon finished 3rd for the team with one of his best efforts of the season. Matthew and Aaron Liberman finished 6th and 7th for the team beating out the Great Oaks 6th and 7th place finishers.
“Even though it was an overall off day for our team we are all incredibly proud of our team just for being there, much less finishing number 15 in the entire country. We feel like we are a top 10 team on our best day” said Robles. Robles also wanted to recognize his Assistant coach, David Cummings, for all of his hard work all season long. “Eastvale gets very hot in the summer months and David looks out for the boy’s safety by getting them up getting out with them for a good run at 5:30 in the morning all summer long”.